Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum

Using FPF to reward good service

Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008 by No comments yet

Myra Mathis-Flynn reported a story from Front Porch Forum today for the Burlington Free Press…

Michigan family quickly learns the Vermont way
By Myra Mathis-Flynn
Burlington Free Press
December 22, 2008

Much can happen in the process of a move, but when Patrick and Juliet Halladay decided to pack up their three kids and move from Michigan to Burlington, they did not anticipate someone almost losing a finger.

When Juliet Halladay was hired as a professor in the University of Vermont’s Elementary Education program, the family packed its belongings for the trip East. During the moving process, the Halladay’s couch dropped onto Juliet’s finger. The appendage was spared only because of her engagement ring, which took the brunt of the impact. As a result, the ring was a wreck.

Patrick Halladay ventured onto the Church Street Marketplace to find a local store to fix his wife’s ring. Enter Lippa’s Jewelers.

“This is a Christmas of some fiscal austerity,” Patrick Halladay said. “I decided to spend a bit of money to get the ring reshaped and thought that I would like to use someone local. I stopped at Lippa’s because it looked local. They said bring it in, it will be $20.”

When Jeff Berger, owner of Lippa’s came back, he told Halladay he owed nothing for the repair, and to have a happy holiday. Halladay immediately posted a story on the gesture on his neighborhood, Front Porch Forum so others could hear of the good deed.

“What really surprised me is that I have never been to the store; I’m not a regular; he had no idea who I was,” Halladay said. “It made me feel positively inclined to not have a good deed be unrewarded. It’s consistent to what we have found here in Burlington, people have a human aspect of doing business, which is a smart outlook.”

“These are things, you do them because you can,” Berger said. “Sure it’s my time and my expertise, but you just do them. I grew up in this business and one of the things I remember my grandfather telling me: ‘If you do something good for a client, they tell 10 people, something bad and they tell 100.’ They are acts of kindness. It takes a little bit of time sometimes, but that’s OK.”

Eleven years ago, Patrick Halladay proposed to Juliet with that ring on her birthday, Dec. 29. He will give her the repaired ring as a gift on their anniversary.

Lippa’s Jewelers is located at 112 Church St., or call 862-1042.

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